La Grenouille

Classic French fare in the Big Apple
Decked out with more flowers than a royal wedding, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star La Grenouille is the kind of place where you’ll want to wear your aunt’s most ostentatious estate jewelry and carry a French phrase book in your Chanel handbag so you can converse with the waiter.

La Grenouille — which means “frog” in French, though this is actually a prince of a place — is where the most glittery and powerful personalities (Truman Capote in years past, Martha Stewart today) have dined since 1962, enjoying the polished service that is the pinnacle of attentiveness.

Just as the cashmere twinset and diamond studs worn by the socialite at the next table will never go out of style, neither will the French classics on the menu here, from frog’s legs to Dover sole. Notoriously pricey, La Grenouille has added an affordable pre-theater menu (5 to 6 p.m.), making it — at last! — a viable upscale dining option even for those on a budget.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • La Grenouille’s commitment to only serving fresh and seasonal ingredients can sometimes mean that items on the menu are available in limited quantities.
  • The service at La Grenouille rivals some of the best you will experience in New York — and around the country for that matter. Nominated more than five times to receive the James Beard Award for Outstanding Service, La Grenouille’s staffers demonstrate a genuine interest in who you are and what it will take to make your evening unforgettable.
  • Step inside La Grenouille and instantly be transported to a different time and place. The classic and elegant décor is vibrant and ornate, filled with colorful flowers every place you look.
Things to Know
  • Beyond the weekly changed floral arrangements, the restaurant’s atmosphere is almost theatrical with red banquettes, oil paintings and mirrored walls.
  • For a change of pace to the grandeur of the dining room, visit the second floor of the restaurant where lunch is served and private dining is available.
  • In the evening, the second floor comes alive with a pianist performing classic French songs for you to tap your toes to.
  • Seats in the back of the establishment are some of the best. They offer a view of the whole room, allowing you to take in the blooms, the light and the people from the moment your meal begins.
  • You can opt to book your table ahead of time, and online reservations at this New York restaurant are also available. Visit La Grenouille’s website for a direct link to OpenTable, where you can make, change or cancel your reservation online.
The Food
  • Though the menu here changes based on what seasonal ingredients are available, les cuisses de grenouilles provencale (frogs legs sautéed Provencale) are usually available. It’s La Grenouille’s signature dish.
  • Other recommended items: la sole grillée, sauce moutarde (grilled Dover sole with mustard sauce), the oxtail braisé au vin de Bourgogne (oxtail braised in red burgundy wine), and poitrine de poulet aromatisée à la truffle, fèves et artichauts (truffled breast of chicken with fava beans and artichokes).
  • And remember that there’s always room for dessert — especially when said sweet is another one of the restaurant’s signature dishes. Les soufflés, offered with Grand Marnier, chocolate or passion fruit are delivered light and fluffy, and baked to perfection.
Getting There
3 East 52nd Street, New York, New York 10022
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